Growing up, I always have had the opportunity to see things first at hand. I was able to see them for what they actually were in reality. My religion and my upbringing in a low socio-economic household is what made me be able to understand and acknowledge issues within the world. I am a Muslim. These characteristics are what has shaped my interests and passions. I tend to develop my stories based off personal experience and what I feel connected to.
Concerning “The New Colossus: A glimpse of the values of Lady Liberty,” I felt that I had to give a voice to those who couldn’t speak. I wanted to bring awareness to the refugee crisis and the agencies that go out of their way to help them. That was my focus.
While writing this piece, I reached out to refugee help centers, immigration attorneys and local work force departments, to see which would be available for an interview. I decided to interview people from those areas because I knew that they dealt with refugees personally. They were the best options since they had multiple insights on the refugee crisis and knew what the refugees were going through on a first-hand basis. Though the season made it really hard for anyone to get back to me, I managed to find one person to speak with from each organization. Each interview ran smoothly and surprisingly there weren’t any obstacles besides actually scheduling an interview.
During the interviews, I made sure I had a list of questions written down, to help me stay on my focus. Being organized helped me make sense of all the information I was being given. When it came to actually writing my story, I had to break down every piece of information I had. I had to organize and re-organize my piece multiple times to make sure it gave off the right emotion and had an appropriate delivery, all while making sure it was interesting to read. I made sure to include everything that I was given, so nothing important was left out.
What surprised me the most was how everyone was so involved and despite setbacks they were still passionate about helping those who are in need. Overall, writing this story helped me realize how important being a humanitarian is and what being a part of a community entails.
Reem Ikram, a long-time advocate for human rights, brings more than an open mind and different perspective when concerning issues that are present within society. Focusing her time on volunteering at the local soup kitchens and setting up fundraisers for those in need, Ikram has gained a compelling outlook on how life should be lived out. Currently living in Salt Lake City, she also attends the University of Utah, majoring in communication with an emphasis in broadcast journalism, she is expected to graduate in 2019.
Ikram grew up in a disoriented family, constantly struggling with being financially unstable and watching her mother be a victim of domestic violence. Though her living situation wasn’t ideal, it allowed her to become more than resilient. It inspired her to be super productive and overly optimistic.
After enduring such a turbulent past, Ikram decided to pursue broadcasting to be a part of a larger platform so she could then be able to reach out and help more of those in need. While trying to reach this goal, she has also taken part in numerous independent projects in order to make a name for herself. These projects range from writing stories for her university’s paper, acting in independent films relevant to raising awareness to social conflicts and issues, to running two small businesses and her own film production company.
While always keeping herself busy, Ikram is determined to make a positive change in the world. She is no stranger when it comes to tough times and having a lot on her plate.